Author: Kerryn Wayow

Avoiding Career Change Regret

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

I would think that most people would agree that making a career change can be a little anxiety provoking at the very least, and completely terrifying at the very worst. Many people will make a career change fairly easily, but unfortunately, there will be many people who will be unsuccessful. During 2021, according to some statistics almost 50 million Americans quit their jobs. They were hoping for higher pay, better benefits and/or more exciting career options. This mass employment exodus was called the “Great Resignation”. However, also according to some statistics about a quarter of these individuals, roughly 12.5 million people ended up regretting their decision to leave. For many of these employee’s the grass was not greener on the other side and were left with feelings of tremendous regret. There are as many ways to make serious mistakes during a career change, as there are to make a correct one. My intention in writing this blog is to help you make correct ones.

Many career changes will not have disastrous consequences. However, when I think of a career change for my clients, it reminds me of those stories where kids get seriously injured when they go diving. I am sure that you have heard of them. These are the stories that involve children diving in their pools, gorges, grottos, lakes or other favorite body of water and end up getting gravely hurt or even paralyzed. These kids injure themselves because they initially think that the water is clear, only to find it was too shallow or there is a large rock lying just beneath the surface. What was supposed to be a day of fun, ends up in tragedy.

I am not saying that a career change will lead to a complete tragedy. It’s certainly not advantageous to have a catastrophic mindset when attempting to initiate a career change. Having this kind of mindset is what stops people from making a career transition in the first place. Many people can get completely caught up in a mind of “doom and gloom”. On the other extreme though, it’s not wise to have “pie in the sky” thinking either. If you are unrealistic with your expectations, then similar to those children, you will not be ready for the rocks underneath the surface of the water. Before you make any transition, you need to find out what kind of industry, company and work environment you are leaping into.

It’s easy to think that everything about a company you want to join will be great. However, you also need to find out if they have suffered severe losses during prior years, and will be trimming their work force. You will also need to know if there are employees leaving because one of their managers is completely blind to low company morale. You will also need to know after investing in a change in education, only to find out that the career you chose is not in high demand or that you need to go through lower paying positions to get to a higher one. There are strategies that you need to use to avoiding hitting the bottom of the pool or cracking your head on an unseen rock.

1. Specific Career Goal

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when changing careers is to not know what you really want. Many job changers get caught up in wanting a change for many reasons. They may have been a job too long, becoming bored. Some people encounter a boss or coworkers that they don’t get along with. There are also some who don’t want the long commute to the workplace anymore or feel they the job is way too much work.  A lot of individuals simply want higher pay. In these cases, people have an idea of what they don’t want. However, getting to a better job is not about avoiding what you don’t want, it’s about having very clear and specific expectations of what a happens after you get the new job. Why is this important? This is important because there is no such thing as a “perfect” job, there are only jobs that you think are perfect. Your commute may be too long, but the jobs that are closer, may not be as fulfilling. Wanting higher pay may mean having higher education, greater responsibilities or more work hours. Finally, bosses are bosses. Leaving one company for a supervisor that you dislike, does not mean you won’t go to another company and find one more supervisor that is just as bad or even worse. So, you need to be clear on your expectations and understand your specific career goals when making any transition. You must determine what’s really important to you in your career.

2. Clarity

To avoid jumping into the complete unknown, it’s important to have a clear idea of what your new work environment will be as much as possible. Many job seekers forget to complete the most important job activity when they are changing careers: it is research. Unless you really like bad surprises, it’s well worth your time and energy to investigate companies that you want to work for. I am not just talking about your salary, although this is very important. You need to have a greater awareness of other factors and conditions that will be just as important to you. All these important factors must be kept in mind along the entire spectrum of your entire career change. Important decisions start from the very beginning of your transition, as you consider moving into a new job role, right up to the interviewing stage where you are deciding on whether to join a company or not. Having the clearest picture of what lies ahead during your transition is vital. Some important factors and considerations to keep in mind include:

* Specific Job Responsibilities

* Financial Health of the Company and Industry Sector

* Salary Progression / Additional Benefits and Perks

* Training, Development and Growth Opportunities

* Work-Life Balance/Flexibility

* Organization / Team Culture and Morale

* Organizational Stability

* Management (Current Teams and Bosses)

3. Network

Most career experts will tell you to “never stop networking”, even when you are employed. In fact, the best time to network is when you are working, because building a network takes time, energy and consistency. These three elements are very scarce during an active job search. The primary way of finding a new successful career opportunity will not come through an application, posting or internet, it will come through a contact. As the saying goes, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” A network is critical to your job search success and having to build an entirely new network during a search can dramatically increase the time in finding your next position. So, having a pre-existing network will be an extremely valuable resource. Unfortunately, many job changers rely way too heavily on searching through job postings, finding many dead ends. A successful career change will be dependent on your ability to reach out and make connections.

4. Know Your True Value

Many career changers believe that experience and education are valuable selling points to employers, and to a degree they are. However, what’s more important is your knowledge and skills for being able to successful manage all assigned responsibilities, while also effectively resolving all the problems and issues that come with the role that you are being considered for. In many ways, education alone may not be enough to make an employer view you as a suitable candidate for a position, and this is one reason why new graduates have many challenges during the initial part of their career. I once encountered an individual who decided to leave teaching and wanted to get into the HR field in training and development. She had many years of teaching, but none in the HR field. She was shocked to find out that her starting salary in the HR field would not be the same as being a teacher. She did not anticipate a decrease in wage and was stuck. So, if you are considering changing from one role into an entirely new role, you will need to gain clarity on your true worth in the labour market. Not only will you need to consider the appropriate education, you must properly use and leverage your prior career experience. Being able to effectively market and sell your experience and knowledge towards a new role will be a critical aspect in influencing the decisions of any hiring manager.

Are Career Assessments Actually Useful?

Photo by Jessica Lewis Creative from Pexels

I have heard many client stories about taking assessments. Some clients mention taking a “test” in high school, which told them to become Forest Ranger, when they hate the outdoors. Many of these people start to reject assessments because results like this one seem ridiculous. Other people have taken personality assessments such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, commonly referred to as the MBTI for short. I always inquire into these results, if a client has taken it prior to working with me. Many will vaguely recall some of the “letters” but are not able to tell me what the interpretation of the assessment means. All of these incidents beg the question, do career assessments have any value at all? There is certainly debate within the career field, with many professionals administering many batteries of assessments, whereas some will never use a single one. These counsellors believe assessments have no value at all, preferring to rely on their own counselling methods and approaches.

So, what’s the clearer picture, when it comes to using career assessments? The bottom-line is that career assessments are simply tools, and similar to most tools they are designed to be used in very specific situations and elicit very specific results. They are like a surgeon’s scalpel. In the right hands, they can be used in the most complex and delicate surgeries, producing valuable results. However, in the wrong hands, a scalpel can lead to catastrophic disaster and/or death. Fortunately, the use of most psychometric instruments (this is what psychologists call assessments) will not lead to disaster or death. However, there are many complex assessments where only highly trained and certified practitioners can administer them. These are usually advanced clinical diagnostic assessments. Unfortunately, with the internet, there has now been a proliferation of assessments, some very useful, while others not so much. Many of these poorer assessments are as useful as reading tea leaves. However, in the right hands and in the correct situation, career assessments can have very powerful benefits when using them to support a major career change or providing support to a career management program.

1. Drives Greater Self-Awareness and Self-Reflection

A career assessment is about the process of evaluating your personal attributes such as your skills, interests, motivations, values, personality and other traits, enabling you to more effectively explore, identify and find a suitable career path. Career assessments can support you in developing greater self-awareness, which is about knowing yourself better. Ultimately, it is about a deeper assessment and interpretation of your actions, thoughts and feelings.

There are people in jobs where there is a major mismatch. If you are in a mismatched job, you will never come to a full realization of your potential assets and strengths. Worse, it may cause you constant stress. Unfortunately, if you are not in touch with your true emotions and thoughts, you will be a permanent a prisoner to these situations. Being unaware of your higher skills, fulfilling interests or most authentic values will prevent you from exploring and finding better career possibilities. Ultimately, this will stop your growth.

When you have greater self-awareness and reflection, you will have a deeper understanding of the reasons for why you are in the wrong career. In general, people have differing levels of self-awareness. However, it is individuals that have a greater awareness of their authentic nature that have a greater capacity to realize when a job is a very poor fit. These individuals will be either able to adapt more effectively or leave to find a more suitable job to who they truly are.

2. Provides Useful and Precise Self-Descriptors

Career assessments can provide wording and phrases to accurately describe specific traits. They provide language and definitions. For example, let’s say that you describe yourself as someone who “loves being with people”. What precisely does this imply? The word “love” can mean very different things to different people. However, if you take an assessment and discover that you are “extroverted”, it can provide you with more information about why you are motivated to be around people. It may also reveal the degree to how often you enjoy being with others, and even provide ways to use your “extroversion” as a strength in your career. Assessments can turn very subjective terminology into more objective measures, which is extremely helpful to exploring and identifying suitable job roles.

3. Enhances Successful Decision-Making

You can only make a good decision, if you know what you really want. Making a “right” decision is based on your own criteria about what you need and desire for yourself. Unfortunately, if you are unaware of what your needs are, which are direct reflections of your most authentic skills, interests, personality and values then decision-making becomes increasingly difficult. It can be challenging to choose between two, three or even multiple career options, if you are unaware of how fulfilling each one will be.

One way that people will choose among different jobs is to use a trial and error approach. Many people will select a job based on what may initially appear to be very appealing, only to find out that the job was not what they were expecting. Many individuals are also tempted to focus on salary and benefits. Once again there can be many jobs that pay very well but are completely unfulfilling. This is where knowing your most authentic self becomes an essential consideration. When you know the most important factors about yourself, then choosing the right career path becomes much easier. Choosing the right career requires a careful analysis of yourself and your own unique personal development.

4. Helps You to Define Your Distinct Abilities and Refine Your Talents

Have you ever been asked in an interview, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” I have guided people through interview preparation, and this should be a relatively straightforward question to answer, but for many it’s not. Quite a few people get stumped on trying to come up with answers that are truly authentic to themselves. Many people typically resort to some very common answers such as being “organized”, “a problem solver” or “great in a team”. If you are a person that has difficulty in answering this type of interview question, then I would argue that finding your own unique and special career talents might also be very challenging.

Developing and refining your greatest talents is a vital part of achieving a successful and rewarding career. However, you must first get know your unique talents, interests, values and personality traits. This will allow you to later refine and enhance them. Within different professions, ranging from music to art, the highest performers in the world spend countless hours refining their top skills. They understand what their top skills and interests are. This allows them to be highly dedicated to their art. It’s been noted that professional guitar players can spend an average of four to eight hours of practice per day. Additional research suggests that it takes an average of four hours of practice per day over a period of ten years to achieve an expert level. So, to be able to excel in any role, you will need to have a deeper understanding of your top skills, which will enable you to further refine and develop them. Career assessments can serve as an initial point to discovering and exploring your natural talents, interests and personality traits. Getting to know exactly what traits will serve you the best in your career will not only help you to survive but thrive. This is the key to achieving a highly rewarding and successful career.

If You Think “Quiet Quitting” is an Effective Career Management Strategy, Think Again!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

First, we heard about the “great resignation”. Today, many people are talking about “quiet quitting”. The way people are coping with work is certainly getting a lot of attention. With the pandemic significantly impacting the workplace, there has been a significant shift in the needs of both employers and employees. Having watched many videos and listened to the varying viewpoints on this topic, I wanted to understand this career phenomenon a little bit better. For those of you who have not heard about “quiet quitting”, I will elaborate. Quiet quitting is a term used to describe a person who is not outrightly quitting but has decided that he/she will not go above and beyond a job’s requirements. The person has decided to avoid performing any additional job duties, responsibilities and tasks, sticking strictly his/her job description.

For many people, they are doing this for two main reasons. First, they are in the process of being work fatigued or have completely burned out. They have reached their limit of mental, emotional or physical capacity. The other reason is that they may have already gone above and beyond what has been required but have not seen any additional rewards and recognition from the company. In the end, they have decided that putting in any extra effort to their job is not worth it. Regardless of the reasoning, at the heart of this debate centres on the differing work expectations and perspectives of the employer and employee.

Since there are many differing and numerous opinions on this topic, one can take a long time discussing it. People have many different perspectives and viewpoints. However, as a career counsellor/coach, I wanted to evaluate quiet quitting from a career management point of view. As a counsellor, I am always seeking successful career management strategies to support my clients in achieving more fulfilling, empowering and progressive careers. Having attempted to view this particular approach through the lens of career management, I have concluded it may not be a real beneficial one. With the exception of a person being on the verge of burning out or experiencing severe mental health issues, I see more downsides than advantages, if you use this approach. Here are some following main points:

Your Boss Won’t Like It!

I rarely see eye-to-eye with Kevin O’Leary. However, in a video post, he proposes that quiet quitting is a really bad idea. He mentions that creativity is necessary in any workplace. People are needed to go beyond what is typically required to solve significant problems for their teams, customers, managers and the company overall. If you are going to define your responsibilities by some strict definition of your job description then you are going to fail. You are being hired to solve problems. If you and your work are going to be recognized and rewarded, you will be required to do what you are supposed to do and even more.

In this case, I agree with Kevin. Today, the market is comprised of constant industry disruption and competition, and companies will only value those who can bring an exceptional level of work performance. All companies are functioning in a highly driven and competitive environment, and the highest priorities are to not only survive, but to thrive. Most managers will not have any appreciation or respect for a “I did my job, and that should be good enough” attitude. Many managers value people who are willing to go above and beyond. These people will be the ones that garner favor, admiration and recognition. As Kevin states, “Those are the people I seek. I seek them out. I hire them. People who shut down their laptop at five… want to go to the soccer game, nine-to-five only, they don’t work for me. I can tell you that. I hope they work for my competitors.”

Are You Only Working for a Paycheque?

It’s challenging to go above and beyond, if there is minimal or no motivation to do so. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that a person’s work-life balance can be very poor or putting in extra work time, resources and effort may not be really appreciated or recognized by a manager. In the end, a person’s salary and benefits will remain the same. However, I have and will always advocate for careers that are based on more than just a paycheque. A highly fulfilling and satisfying career is created on unique passions, meaning and purpose. It’s totally understandable why many people want to clock out at five, if they have not attained these qualities in their career. However, you need to explore, identify and do things that make you happy in your work. This can awaken and better connect you to what’s professionally meaningful. Having intrinsic as opposed to extrinsic rewards will always be more beneficial to you and your career. You need to go above and beyond for you, not for anyone else. If you are going above your job requirements for external recognition and rewards, or simply trying to avoid a manger’s punishment or reprimand, it will become increasingly difficult to get through your workdays as time goes by.

It’s Not a Successful Long-Term Strategy

Changes in the labour market are constantly occurring, along with possible job opportunities. In the present labour market climate, employers are finding it very challenging to find and retain employees. This is one main reason employees feel secure in quietly quitting. However, this occurrence is by no means permanent, and to maintain a successful career you need to keep this in mind. Employers in this period may overlook a person who is not going above and beyond, thinking that it may be challenging to find someone else as a replacement. Unfortunately, this will not always be the case, and during major recessionary periods, companies undergo major restructuring. When this happens, even the most qualified, experienced and knowledgeable will be challenged in finding and maintaining work. Thus, quiet quitting may effectively work in this time period because the work climate supports it. However, when the labour market changes, your employer may take on a completely different perspective of employees that attempt to fly under the radar.   

You Won’t Develop or Grow 

Not going above and beyond may get you through your workday, but it is not a successful strategy for a long-term progressive and prosperous career. A key aspect of any successful career management strategy is growth and development. Individuals in careers need to continue to grow, or they remain stagnant or dissatisfied. I have worked with many clients who want to change because they have been in their jobs too long. They constantly perform the same repetitive tasks and responsibilities. However, there’s a saying that goes “change is inevitable, growth is optional”. This means that change will always occur, but growth is a choice. As I mentioned, disruptions and restructures dominate today’s job market. These are changes that everyone will experience, but many people will not necessarily achieve positive career growth. If you want to successfully reach your goals and achieve growth, then you must have a solid and well-defined career strategy, along with taking action. Proactively managing your career, while growing and developing your skills, knowledge and experience will give you the abilities and resources to successfully handle and respond to challenging career disruptions, while also support you in reaching your highest career potential.

3 Ways to Enhance Your Career Success

Photo by rfstudio from Pexels

I believe that most people want a successful career. Unfortunately, there will be many people who won’t achieve it. They are many that are stuck in work of endless routine and stress. But, have you thought about what the important factors are that contribute to career success? Is it your education, the supervisor at your  company or the kind of experience you have that are the key influences? Is it sheer luck? Certainly, these and many other factors play a role in a person’s career success. However, as a counsellor working with clients over many years, I believe that there are three really important areas: proactivity, opportunities and progression. Not being consciously intentional and making poor decisions in these vital areas will limit you from attaining a successful career.

Have a Proactive Career

Proactivity is about the level of direct control that you take over your own career. This essential concept was presented in Stephen R Covey’s best-known book the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It was first published in 1989, selling more than 25 million copies worldwide. In his book, he introduced important aspects of the Proactive Model. Proactivity is the opposite to reactivity. Upon experiencing change, reactive individuals have a tendency to let their physical environment significantly affect them. Life for reactive people becomes highly random, being caught up in whatever surrounds them. If the weather is bad, they feel bad. When others around them are negative, they are negative. There is an overreliance on external circumstances to influence their attitude, decisions and perspectives. Conversely, proactive people carry their own personal “weather” with them. Whether it’s grey or sunny, they remain independent of it. Proactive people are driven by carefully developed internal values that are deliberately chosen and internalized.

As a career counsellor, I encounter many clients that allow their company, work setting, life events and people around them dictate what happens in their career. This is especially true with downsizing and restructuring. In this age of labour market disruption, there are people who have a “wait and see” attitude. They wait for disruption to occur, and then decide what to do at that specific point in time. Unfortunately, this reactive approach severely limits opportunities and choices. Reacting to a restructure or downsizing is similar to a ship being caught in a very bad storm, with the possibility of it sinking. People who are reactive, let the external environment entirely control their outcomes. A more effective strategy would be to prepare for impending disasters and create concrete action plans. Better yet, it’s well worth to gain grater knowledge and understanding, attempting to foreseeing possible dangers. The most effective strategy is to avoid catastrophes all together. Always be proactive, creating and developing a strong career management strategy for yourself. If you don’t have a proactive career strategy, you will constantly find yourself in a reactionary and random mindset, with little or no control. The question you need to ask is, “Are your proactively managing your career or is your career managing you?

Expand Your Career Opportunities

Many career experts and professionals will tell you to “never stop networking”, even when you are employed. Yet, many people do not maintain an active network. When I work clients, I will typically ask them about their LinkedIn profile. Unfortunately, most clients mention setting up a profile, but never touch it again. I understand that many people do not like social media when it comes to work. However, the key idea here is not about being on social media, it’s about maintaining an active network and connections.

A connection to other people is critical to your career success. One powerful story to illustrate the importance of connection involves how Harrison Ford got the role for Han Solo in the movie, Star Wars. It was legendary producer Fred Roos that had hired Ford to complete work for him at a film production office. Before Ford became a famous actor, he worked as a carpenter. Ford built a door in one of the offices. Roos stated, “Harrison had done a lot of carpentry for me.” He added, “He needed money, he had kids, he wasn’t a big movie star yet. The day he was doing it, George (Lucas) happened to be there. It was serendipitous.” George Lucas was the director of Star Wars. At the time, he was holding a casting call in the very same office. As it happened, Ford auditioned, and the rest is history.  One could make that argument that the meeting was all just one amazing coincidence or accident. However, I really beg to differ. It’s obviously clear that if Ford did not have that initial connection to Fred Roos, there would have been no opportunity for that one single audition. Ford would have never been in that same office, as Lucas. If there was no audition, we would not have Star Wars as we know it today. There would also be a different Indiana Jones, and possibly no Blade Runner. Indeed, Harrison Ford might have remained a complete unknown.

The connections that you have in your network will be at the heart of finding your greatest opportunities. Unfortunately, most people never build a large professional network, and this limits their career success. Always seek to grow and expand your network, they are a doorway to many unforeseen and potential opportunities. 

Create an Amazing Career Vision and Career Goals

A famous person once said, “If you are not growing, you are dying.” This statement is also true of your career. There are millions of people in jobs that simply struggle to get through their day. They wait from their work days to be over. They are in a dead job, repeating the same meaningless activities over and over again. Many people question why they are showing up to work. However, the ironic thing is that they never stop to wonder why their job is not fulfilling. This might even be you!

Expansion, evolution and change are the key to attaining greater career fulfillment, otherwise you will remain inactive and stagnant. Having a clear career vision with progressive career goals will help you establish a more meaningful and purposeful connection to your work. A clear vision will support your career progress, and along with this growth provide greater enjoyment and satisfaction. It’s important to keep in mind that everyday work experiences and interactions offer tremendous growth in knowledge and skills. However, this will only happen if you treat every moment and opportunity with a full intention. It’s easy to be very unconscious with repetitive work activities. However, actively engaging and taking opportunities to grow will help you move forward. Do not let chances to broaden your experience, expand your skills and deepen your knowledge go by ignored. Maximize them. Acting with conscious intention on exciting growth opportunities and moving towards your own meaningful vision should always be part of your daily career activities.

Your Most Authentic Self

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

You are not an empty shell. This is the key idea that Marcus Buckingham makes in his book, “Love and Work”. He argues that you are a highly unique individual; a distinct pattern of “loves and loathes”. This pattern comes from your genetic makeup, which has been formed by a vast network of approximately one hundred billion neurons in your brain. Each of these neurons reaches out and makes connections with at least one thousand other neurons. To put this in context, your brain has more connections than five thousand Milky Way galaxies has stars. There is no one else in the world who will ever have the same pattern of connections that you have. It is these connections that make you, you. You are built to love and loathe very specific things. This is part of your distinct authenticity. Yet, it’s always been perplexing to me the large number of people who feel the need to conform within their career!

I believe a large percentage of people choose jobs based of their urgent lifestyle needs. As a result, these individuals give little thought as to whether their work is truly authentic to them. Many feel that they need to lose the authentic parts of themselves when choosing a career. You might be one of these people. However, there are countless examples of people achieving greatness in their careers, by leaning into their most authentic selves. For instance, many musical artists have accomplished this. There have been countless singers who have had their voices criticized. Among these singers who have been mocked are Shakira, Billie Eilish, Jennifer Lopez and Miley Cyrus.  Even the “King of Rock and Roll”, Elvis Presley was once admonished by critics, saying that his voice was “lusty caterwauling”. As you know, many of these artists have gone on to sell records in the millions, along with receiving innumerable awards and recognition.

But what exactly do we mean by being “authentic”, as many people define the word differently? For this blog, I would like to use the humanistic psychological meaning of this word. Professionals in this field note that people who want to achieve greater authenticity share common characteristics. These characteristics allow a person to achieve greater personal growth and higher functioning. The very first characteristic is that they are accepting of themselves and of other people.

Accept Your True Nature

As mentioned, many top singing artists possess this key characteristic. To express who they truly are and develop their own authentic style, they must first have to accept their own natural voices. They must resist the urge to believe that their voice or singing style must be adapted or changed to fit audience expectations. Artists who want to triumph in their career must dismiss the opinions of critics around them, believing in their own unique singing voice, style and sound. This is a critical aspect to their success.

Express Your Own Thoughts, Emotions and Ideas Freely 

The second characteristic is that people who are authentic are able to express their emotions and ideas freely and clearly. Expressing your authentic and unique personality, values, opinions and beliefs need to be communicated to others. Anyone who wants to grow into who they truly are needs the ability to express themselves with confidence and honesty. They do not give in to being swayed and influenced by others around them. A person who is authentic, will never leave anyone guessing about who they are, because they are transparent. One well-known leader who exemplified this was Steve Jobs. Jobs was well known for his passion to build an enduring company where people were motivated to make great products. He never shied away from telling his staff that their ideas were wrong and would refocus them on his vision for Apple. Jobs once stated “I don’t think I run roughshod over people, but if something sucks, I tell people to their face. It’s my job to be honest.” Although, it may be difficult to attain this level of honesty with people, it demonstrates a high level of authenticity. If you want to become more authentic to others, express what you truly believe, think and feel.

Develop Self-Knowledge

The third characteristic of authentic people is that they have a high level of self-knowledge. Being authentic means being true to unique aspects of yourself such as personality, strengths and values. There is an alignment between these key aspects and a person’s ideals and actions. However, for this alignment to happen you must understand your true traits, along with your motivations. It was Aristotle that once said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom”. It is very difficult to disagree with this statement , as the relationship with yourself is the most important. If you expect others to understand and know you, then you must know what makes you distinct and exceptional. More importantly, when you know who you are, you can fully trust in yourself and realize your highest potential. Instead of letting others dictate what they think is best for you, you can take full control over your life and decisions.

Stop Depending on Others for Approval

Finally, authentic people have a sense of independence from others. Overall, they do not seek the approval of others to feel valued. Highly authentic people can demonstrate caring, concern, compassion and understanding towards people, but they do not strive to achieve others’ unfair expectations or try to please them. They have the confidence to continually live in who they are and what they do. They do not try to conform themselves to fit in and be accepted. The bottom line is that they do not seek or need validation from other people to be who they are. At the same time, they avoid comparisons to other people when assessing their own progress and life achievements. They do their best to strive for their own unique life, dreams and aspirations. These individuals fully understand that other people will define success very differently than they do.

When people are deeply authentic, and living out their personal values, ideals, perspectives and self, it can give them a greater sense of well-being. Unfortunately, according to studies there are a large percentage of employees in North America that feel pressure to suppress their personal values, attempting to go along with organizational standards. You might be one these individuals, and it’s understandable. There may be many reasons to conform such as the need to get ahead, future job promotion, conflict avoidance or supervisor influence. However, there is a real cost to losing your authenticity. There has been research suggesting that people expressing less authenticity have higher levels of depression, experience less life satisfaction and increased career disengagement. Instead of attempting to conform, it is vital that you seek higher authenticity. By being in greater alignment with your most authentic self, you will remain true to your own unique feelings, beliefs, ideals, dreams and aspirations. So, the main question is, if you choose not to be authentic to who you really are, will you be prepared to sacrifice these important aspects of your life?

The Power of Your Personality and Potential

Photo By Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Many younger career seekers can encounter significant challenges when beginning their careers. Typically, these individuals go to people who are closest to them and that they trust for career advice. These people can include parents, teachers and friends. Even though this advice when given can be well intended, it is usually wrong. But, why? Unfortunately, when people closest to you provide advice, the perspective it is filtered through their own distinct career experiences. More than likely, most other people’s career choices will not have any similarity to yours. In addition, most people who are close are too emotionally connected, providing advice that is not objective. The advice is typically biased. But most importantly, most people do not have all the necessary information and knowledge needed to successfully navigate today’s ever changing career market. With changing global conditions and technology, the career market today in the 2020’s is not even the same as 10 years ago. So, here’s a good starting place. Start with you. Begin with your potential!  

Using the word “potential” might sound vague, but it is not as ambiguous as it sounds. The word potential as defined by a dictionary means, “having latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness.” When beginning your career, attempting to discern your own potential is a good place to start, because it will help you to identify and characterize your own unique and special qualities. These broad set of personal qualities will be ones that you and only you will possess. These special qualities will help you to establish your very own career path. Many people underestimate their own personal qualities, assuming that everyone is similar. However, this is very far from the truth. Your personal qualities are very distinct and individual to you. However, what exactly is meant by the word “potential” in relation to your career?

Your potential can be specifically defined by four major areas: skills, interests, values and personality. These 4 qualities are not the only aspects that you can use to help reach your greatest career potential. However, with regards to your career development, these are very tangible concrete aspects that can be used to figure out a good career fit. You can consider your skills, interests, values and personality endowments, because these are personal characteristics and qualities that you possess. Whether these endowments have been acquired through god, genetic evolution or plain old chance, it does not matter. Your endowments can be used towards your own career advantage, helping you to design, grow and develop a successful career.

When trying to figure out a career, most people tend to first think of their skills and interests. However, it’s also important to explore your values and personality. Career values are personal principles that assist you is defining your ideal professional environment. These values can help you identify your most ideal work setting and important role characteristics. In turn, these will enhance your job satisfaction, accelerate career advancement and support you in achieving success.

Another personal aspect that also supports your career is your personality. It’s your distinct and exceptional personality traits that can help you uncover your unique career journey. Ironically, you may have similar skills, interests and values to other people, but it is the distinct combination of your personality traits that makes you, uniquely you. In the career world, adapting to a specific organization and its culture can significantly impact your career satisfaction, which can be a function of personality traits. So, let’s take a deeper look at how your personality can impact your career, because your personality is a significant part of achieving greater career fulfillment.

Your Personality Predicts Career Success and Satisfaction

Research has discovered that certain patterns of personality growth predict career success. In a major 12-year longitudinal study, researchers from the University of Houston followed two groups of youth from 17 years to about 29 years of age, approximately a 12-year period. They found that personality has important effects on early career outcomes. The effects were revealed through stable trait levels and how people change over time. The researchers reported that personality trait levels predicted career success. In another study, researchers examined personality traits in relation to satisfaction. They evaluated 5,932 individuals in career transition. They found that personality traits were related to both career and job satisfaction. Specifically, they found that 3 distinct personality traits were related to career satisfaction and success: conscientiousness, extroversion, and openness. At the moment, I will not discuss the specifics of the traits, but only reinforce the idea that specific aspects of your personality will be important to you in achieving career success and satisfaction. 

Your Personality Impacts Performance

Your performance on the job is not only about your skills. It can be influenced by many other factors, including your personality. There have been many great career accomplishments that have been reached, in the absence of strong skills and knowledge. People can attain extraordinary achievements, conquering significant challenges by employing personality strengths. An individual who was able to use his personal traits to overcome skill deficits was Jamie Oliver.

Jamie Oliver is a celebrity chef who has authored over twenty cookbooks. He is one of world’s richest chefs, with a net worth of over $230 million. However, you would be surprised by the fact that even though he has authored many books he only finished reading his first book in 2013. Oliver has Dyslexia, which is a specific learning disability that affects reading. Individuals with dyslexia have trouble reading accurately and fluently. Oliver has stated, “I’ve never read a book in my life, which I know sounds incredibly ignorant but I’m dyslexic and I get bored easily.”

To say that Jamie Oliver has had some very controversial moments would be an understatement. Oliver has a shocking career history of making people extremely angry with his personal views and perspectives, and sometimes downright hypocrisy. These controversies are the result of strong personality characteristics. Being a celebrity chef isn’t just about having cooking skills and knowledge, otherwise any chef could be on TV. It’s beneficial to have a big personality in the media world, so you can light up the television and get attention. This is where Oliver’s personality comes in. Because he is constantly in the spotlight, he needs people to listen and grab their attention. His celebrity survival depends on his personality. There are countless examples of people using their unique personality characteristics to shape their career, Jamie Oliver is just one person out of many. Pursuing a career that best compliments your personality will not only help you achieve the best performance on the job, but will support you in reaching your highest career potential

Personality is the Key to Strong Organizational Culture Fit

There are many people that do not take into consideration or appreciate the fit between themselves and the culture that exists in the organization that they work for. However, on the other hand, many companies today view organizational fit as a critical company aspect, especially when it comes to hiring new employees.

In a corporate recruiters’ survey conducted by GMAC Research Services, employers were asked to identify the skills and traits they felt were most important to consider when evaluating recent business school graduates to hire. The survey drew responses from 842 employers representing more than 530 companies in 40 countries around the globe. Among the 12 traits that respondents were asked to rank in order of importance, the survey found that a candidate’s ability to fit within an organizational culture was ranked highest overall across all world regions.

Organizational culture is generally understood to include all of a company’s beliefs, values and attitudes. The combination of these factors influences an employee’s behaviour, affecting his/her interaction with others and work performance. The importance of organizational fit should never be underestimated, as it can be a critical driver of your happiness in the workplace. Multiple research studies have drawn a connection to job satisfaction and productivity. It is also intuitively obvious that if a person feels like they are an important part of the greater organization his/her commitment will deepen. This person will feel greater work engagement and be motivated to “go the extra mile.” Your personality is a key aspect to achieving strong organizational fit, being vital in identifying the work environment that is best suited to you. More importantly, this will also allow you to maximize your greatest career potential.

The Real Costs For Post-Secondary Students That Lack Career Clarity

Photo by Marcus Spiske from Pexels

Many people still think that it’s okay for students to be unsure or lack career clarity when attending post-secondary education. I have heard many parents communicate this advice, and even some academic institutions support it. For instance, on a top Canadian university website there is a statement to students, “No one expects you to have your whole life mapped out when you apply to university. There are so many universities and choices. You may discover new programs after you apply or even once you get to university. It’s okay to change what you’d like to study. Many students do.”

There are also post-secondary educators that provide similar advice. In a Macleans article (December 3, 2018), Aritha van Herk,a professor from the department of English at the University of Calgary stated, “Explore. Give your curiosity free rein. Universities are programmatically structured now, but don’t let the requirements of your program confine you. If you want to take astronomy and your English degree tells you that you can’t take any more options, resist and figure out a way to do both. It is less important to complete a degree than to discover your fascinations, which will follow you through life.” Really? Is it not that important that a student does not complete his or her degree?

A lot of students have difficulties choosing academic programs, lacking direction. For this reason, changing majors is a very common occurrence for many post-secondary students, especially in university settings. Even I changed my majors when I attended University. I would argue that it is such a common occurrence that many individuals don’t realize the real consequences of making this critical decision. As the opening quotation mentions, students that change majors are part of the norm. Do not misunderstand me, I completely support the idea of exploration. Indeed, exploration is at the heart to a successful career development process. However, I believe that gaining greater clarity about post-secondary education needs to be a priority because academic uncertainty is extremely costly. In this blog, I want to look at facts surrounding academic decision making, the true costs of switching majors and some of the benefits of using career development strategies.

There are many career development strategies that can be effectively used to reduce doubt and uncertainty, helping to enhance academic decision making. My intention is to open a dialogue about the true need for career development, as way of reducing uncertainty and gaining clarity. More importantly, it is also a way of avoiding major unforeseen costs.

Percentage of Students Changing Majors

First, let’s look at some cold hard facts when students change majors. Within Canada, there are not very clear statistics on the number of students changing their majors. However, in the United States the Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), conducted a longitudinal study in 2011 to 2012. The study found that 33 percent of students that were pursuing a bachelor’s degree and 28 percent of students within associate degree programs had changed their major at least once. The survey also found that about 1 in 10 had changed majors twice.

Relevance of Academic Studies to Work

Additional research involved university students from a major Canadian survey completed for 2020, the Ontario University Graduate Survey. In this study, researchers examined two key factors that were related to graduate job results. The first factor was the skills students had developed from their program. The second factor was the subject matter knowledge they acquired. With regards to the skills that university students had developed in relation to their work, 53% of students stated that they were “closely related”, 34% recorded that they were “somewhat related” and 13% noted that they were “not related at all”. In relation to the subject matter, 46% of students stated that the knowledge gained was “closely related” to their work, 30% indicated that it was “somewhat related” and 24% recorded it was “not related at all”. 

In reviewing the percentages, only about 50% of the students indicated that both their skills and subject matter were closely related to their work upon graduation. Overall, it’s clear that there are a vast number of students do not employ a significant level of skills and knowledge in the work that they do. Many students do not maximize their education, with regards to the future careers they pursue.

The Real Costs of Education

When attending college or university there are significant costs that go along with this major life decision. Let’s look at these costs. According to Statistics Canada, a typical university Canadian student enrolled full-time in an undergraduate program will pay, on average, $6,693 in tuition. This was for the 2021/2022 academic year. Of course, tuition will depend on the area of study, increasing in cost for most STEM and professional degrees. If a student is in residence, the annual cost can be even higher.

Associated with the costs of going to university is the large number of students having significant student debt. Statistics Canada reports that for the 2015 year, 64% of the graduates who graduated with student debt still had an outstanding debt after three years. Among university programs, graduates with a bachelor’s degree had a median debt of $20,000. Graduates in professional programs were three times higher with a median debt of $60,300

Costs and Consequences

Let’s quickly sum up the facts, to evaluate the real costs for a student’s lack of career clarity and uncertainty. First, a significant percentage of students will change their majors, up to a third. Second, only about 50% of the students indicate that their skills and subject matter are closely related to their work upon graduation. So, many graduating students will not be maximizing their educational field of study to their future careers. Third, with the average cost for a year’s tuition for university being approximately $6,700, having to take any additional years to complete a program is an extraneous and unnecessary cost. Fourth, if students decide to change majors the courses already completed may not be relevant to the new major. Students may not be able to transfer all their credits, having to pay for any additional credits, increasing costs. Furthermore, this will also extend the date of graduation. Fifth, if students extend their graduation date, they will have to pay for additional courses. In this situation, they will also be losing employment income, because they have not started their career. Last, when students extend the date of graduation, the time required to pay off any outstanding student debt becomes longer.  

Benefits of Using Career Development Strategies

I hope that a review of these fact and numbers, provides confirmation that switching academic majors has significant costs and consequences. Even though many students choose to switch majors, it should not be taken lightly. As I have discussed making the wrong decision is very costly. However, is there a way to reduce the chance of having to switch majors? There have been multiple research studies explicitly confirming the effectiveness of the career development process for supporting successful student decision making.

There are many advantages for students to undergo a successful career development process. First, students gain self-awareness. Being self-aware forces a person to look at themselves more objectively. Examining strengths, weaknesses, personality traits and values assists in more effectively exploring career directions and opportunities. Second, it provides a way for students to create career goals, which supports the decision-making process. When students have goals that they want to achieve, it helps them plan more effectively. Third, it establishes a long-term vision. Vision also supports the decision-making process, assisting them to prioritize what is truly important in their career. Finally, a sound career strategy allows students to better explore the labour market. Today’s labour market is expansive and endlessly changing. Students need to understand labour market trends, impacts and disruptions. With the rising costs of today’s education and the continually changing labour market, an effective career process can help a student not only avoid getting into the wrong career but provide a successful career foundation. The process can  help a student have a deeper understanding of who they are and what they truly want from their career.

Reasons Why Young People Struggle to Find a Successful Career

Photo By Pixabay from Pexels

In my work, I encounter many youth struggling to find a successful career direction. In this situation, I am not talking about finding and obtaining the right job. Finding and obtaining the right job involves a successful job search strategy. I am talking about choosing the right job. From my perspective, finding a job and choosing a career are entirely separate aspects. Let me explain.

I remember one very specific call. The client was a younger individual who had just finished completing her teaching qualifications. She recently started a teaching position, providing high school instruction to youth. During the call, she very definitively stated that she hated it. I asked her why and oddly enough, she mentioned that a lot of the kids were “unmotivated”. We spoke for a while longer and discovered that she could not quit the position, due to a large outstanding student debt. She was clearly upset and frustrated with her job but was forced to stay in it. This young person found a job but chose the wrong one. Since then, I have encountered many young people who have taken the wrong programs, have completely switched their majors or struggled to establish a strong and successful start to their career. Needless to say, this is detrimental to their career progress, not to mention very costly.

Generally, many early job seekers and young people fail to consider the many career options that are available to them. Many students identify careers that easily come to mind that they might enjoy and pursue them. However, there is no career development process, strategy or deeper exploration. Without deeper exploration, students can make very erroneous decisions. At the same time, all the many job possibilities can be overwhelming, as there are a seemingly infinite number of career choices. There are many reasons why people struggle to get a strong foothold when beginning their career. These need to be considered, if they are going to get a strong start in their career. If you are a younger person, you need to understand the 4 following major factors that will greatly impact your important career decisions.

Influence and Impact of others

Students are typically surrounded by a network of people who significantly impact and influence their career choices. I have spoken to many young people who have been influenced by those closest around them. These individuals can include parents, family members, teachers, counselors, mentors and friends. In general, most of these people are very supportive in a person’s life. Research supports this. Studies have found that these individuals can positively influence a students’ education and career decision making. An American study discovered that family members were the greatest source and had the highest percentage of influence on a student’s career decision. Teachers were cited as the next group, for influencing a student’s decision. The last source of influence was school counsellors.

Indeed, there are many students that follow their parents’ recommendations, generally finding work in the career fields that their parents wanted for them. For students making a critical career decision, it can be difficult to separate what people in their close network want for them and the career they would like to choose for themselves. This difficulty in separation comes from a process termed internalization. Internalization happens when values, patterns or beliefs within oneself are acquired through learning or socialization, as conscious or subconscious guiding principles. Both children and youth have a strong tendency to internalize career values from others around them, especially their parents. As such, the influence of others can hinder a student’s ability to envision their own distinct career path or independently choose their career direction. As a young person, you will need to take the required time to adequately reflect, meditate and plan your own career choices, separate from those around you.

No Direct “Real-World” Experience

There’s a saying I typically mention to clients that I serve, and it’s, “Passion cannot be discovered through thought.” I will use my own personal experience to explain. When I left high school, I wanted to go into aerospace engineering, as I enjoyed the sciences, especially physics. I imagined myself designing and building really cool jet fighters. I knew very little about the engineering field before I got into my program, and I failed to account for one major factor. Everything in engineering revolved around design, drafting and mathematics. There was a lot of math equations! It was only when I faced the non-stop daily grind of performing seemingly endless chemical, math and physics equations and problems that I thought, “Woah, enough!” In high school, I studied many other subjects, and had not experienced the intensity of mathematics and sciences every day, until I got into my program.

Real passions do not evolve out of thoughts, they are a product of experiences. Most people have tendencies to “think” about their passions, instead of taking direct action and trying something new. We habituate our minds to analyze, rationalize and figure things out. However, this is the main reason why many people buy exercise machines that eventually end up sitting in a corner of their homes. The thought of looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger is exciting and great, until a person has to put in the consistent and hard work to develop a body like Arnold. Finding a successful career is about directly immersing yourself into many experiences, actually trying them. Without tangible and concrete knowledge, you will not know what you are truly passionate about and love.

If you are early in your career, it’s well worth to try as many activities as possible, gaining direct experiences. Participate in volunteer work, additional training, hobbies and leisure activities, along with joining internships and extracurricular activities.

No Priorities; Not Knowing What’s Important.

Ask yourself this question, “Have I identified, planned and taken real action on a really important goal that will move my career in a positive direction, significantly moving it forward within the next year?” Unfortunately, when I ask this question to clients, it’s a very difficult one to answer. Most people have a tendency to choose jobs and centre their career around immediate and personal circumstances and situations. People’s careers can be very reactionary. In the case of younger people, the main reactionary situation in their lives is leaving high school. When school ends, they are forced to make very quick and pressured decisions about what career they want. This time crunch can be very challenging, because how does one choose quickly? It can take time to get to an understanding of what’s going to be important in the next 5, 10 or even 20 years into the future, as priorities constantly evolve. As a young person, it is critical to take the time, energy and effort to define what you want and what you consider a successful career. Create, develop and work on a career vision for yourself. Otherwise, like many people, you could end up stuck in job that you seriously dislike and even hate, while become so immersed, it will be difficult to pivot or change career direction.


Your Own Psychology

Career decision making is one of most important aspects of career development, even perhaps the most critical. Unfortunately, despite people’s best efforts, they make wrong choices. These errors in decision making are less about intelligence and being “smart”, as opposed to knowing how your mind specifically operates and the types of operational processes that are integrated into the decision-making process.  

Heuristics are processes by which humans use mental short cuts to arrive at decisions. They are strategies that are part of the operational processes of the mind, being incorporated when making judgments, evaluating decisions and finding solutions. These processes are used to find answers that are most likely to be correct. However, they are not always right or even the most accurate.

There are many different types of heuristics. However, I will provide an example of one specific type, termed the Representativeness Heuristic. This heuristic was first researched by psychologists Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman in the 1970s. Like other types of heuristics, making judgments based on representativeness is intended to operate as a mental shortcut.  However, it can lead to significant errors. In a classic experiment, Tversky and Kahneman gave research participants a description of a person named Tom W. They described him as orderly, detail-oriented, competent, self-centered, with a strong moral sense. Participants were then asked to determine Tom’s college major. The researchers found that the description led them to use the representativeness heuristic, resulting in the belief that Tom was an engineering major. This of course were only the perceived conclusions drawn by the participants, and occurred, despite the fact that there was a relatively small number of engineering students at the school where the study was conducted.

Heuristics can lead many people to false conclusions about certain occupations, influencing critical career decisions. We all have opinions, perspectives and judgements about specific types of jobs. However, your own psychology and thought processes will greatly impact your decisions. These decisions will eventually lead to significant career consequences. An effective educational planning and career development process can help you to make more accurate career judgements and conclusions. It supports by enhancing your awareness when using heuristics, incorporating deeper reflective processes and applying greater logic and rationality. Overall, it will be beneficial for you to gain a deeper understanding of your career decision-making process and own psychology.

Do You Have Both Fulfillment and Career Success?

Photo By Min An from Pexels

If I asked you if you were okay or satisfied with your career, I bet many people would say that they were. However, if I asked if your career was truly “successful”, what would you answer? There are probably hundreds of internet articles on ways to achieve success, either in a job, career or business . However, even though there is plenty of advice and guidance on ways to achieve success, for many people it can remain elusive. Achieving success can be challenging, because it can be complicated. First, there are obstacles preventing a person from reaching goals that he/she would like to achieve. Whether the goal is a certain salary level, promotion, specific job role or particular company, they may be stopped by multiple challenges. However, I think what is more challenging than even getting to an intended goal is whether the person reaching it will see it as a “success”. Sometimes, people create and achieve many goals, but they do not feel as if they are successful or fulfilled. Ultimately, they can be unclear about what success means to them. I believe that this lack of clarity in defining success is one of the biggest career challenges, and yet some people never take a deep dive into exploring and clarifying it.

Some time ago, I became very intrigued with the concept of career success from watching a 48 hours episode. The specific episode was titled “Kiss of Death and the Google Exec”. The episode was about a 51-year-old executive, Forest Hayes. From an outside perspective and by all accounts, Hayes had a very successful life and career. He was hired as a top executive to work at Google X, one of the company’s most technologically innovative and imaginative division. Hayes could be described as “high-powered”, as he had lots of assets that included a $3 million dollar home in California. He had one prized possession a 46-foot-long yacht valued at $200,000 dollars. It had a high-end security system, and even had a captain’s chair estimated to be $8,000 dollars. He also appeared to be happily married for 17 years to his wife and had five children.

I don’t think that anyone would have guessed that he would die alone on his prized possession, the 46-foot-long yacht. Hayes was left dead on his yacht through a fatal injection of heroine, after an encounter with an escort. The entire story is really quite sordid and tragic, and I will not recount the actual details of his passing. You can Google the complete story, if you so choose. The details of his death are not relevant to this discussion. More importantly, the  significant question is, how does someone who seemingly has everything, end up dead under such scandalous and seamy circumstances? From an outside perspective he seemed to have it all. Hayes had a family, money, respected career and many personal assets, and yet he sought out drugs and paid companionship.

I realize that I have used a very extreme example to discuss career success. However, I wanted to really drive home my main point. It is this. There are many people who strive and work hard for the type of success that Hayes had and for many of these people this type of success is very fulfilling, and for others such as Hayes, it is not. A person may have all the external success but still be internally miserable and unsatisfied, even feeling hopeless with their life. There are people who seem to “have it all”, and yet, they may not view themselves as successful, feel happy or be joyous. Sometimes, these people’s stories end in sadness and tragedy. Forest Hayes certainly wasn’t fulfilled, even though he attained a significant level of professional, personal and material success. He still sought after something elusive, in an attempt to reach a greater sense of fulfilment.

The irony is that most of us know that success is highly subjective, being defined uniquely and individually, by each person. True success is defined independently of other people, as only you can define your own success. However, many people still seek the opinions, expectations and perspectives of others around them. To be able to find real and authentic career success you must go through the process of clarifying it, for yourself. I am not saying that if you don’t define success that your life will end in tragic death, as Forest Hayes did. However, if you never define success for yourself you might wind up in a career that is completely unfulfilling, unsatisfying and miserable. I give you four ideas to ponder, when reflecting on your career success:

Clarify Your Definition of Success

Clarity sorts out confusion. If want to head in the right career direction, then you need to have vision. Having no career vision is similar to jumping on a plane for a vacation and not knowing where it is going. Ultimately, you are making no decisions, and you will not know where you are heading. This would seem ridiculous to most people, however, it’s simply astounding how many people do this with their career. They simply apply to whatever job opportunities are available and take the first job that meets their life needs and necessities, instead of planning and mapping out their long-term career focus. No clarity means having no real control over your own career outcomes and future. So, begin to think and reflect on what career success means to you. Start to clarify your own definition of career success.

Ensure Your Definition of Success is Authentic to You

There’s a quote by Harry Truman stating that “If you don’t have your own goals, you’ll be doomed to work toward someone else’s.” Yet, we have tendencies to be guided by those around us. Everyone has recommendations for our career, such as our parents, friends, family, co-workers, bosses, priests, hairdresser, mechanic, plumber and even the news media. It’s easy to rely on the opinions of others when we are unsure of our direction. However, instead of looking externally to others, it’s important to begin an active internal reflection and mediation. As the saying goes, “The heads thinks. The heart knows”. Rely on authentic parts of yourself to help you guide your career decision making and direction

Prioritize Areas of Career Success

Finding career success means determining what is truly important. There are many things in your career that you may want to succeed at. You will have many goals and achievements that you would like to attain and accomplish. However, there is one element that will stop you from reaching all that you would like to achieve: time. Time  

always marches forward, and it will be continuously running out on you. You must pick the most important goals, if you want your career to feel successful, while also leading to greater happiness and fulfilment. You must not waste time on things in your life that don’t matter or contribute to feeling successful. When you waste time on things that are not important then it can lead to major regrets over not achieving the essential goals that you deeply wanted to reach.

Choose What Makes You Come Alive

In a previous blog, I discussed that it’s important to find passionate and interesting career activities, as these are major contributors to a positive life. These activities will support your overall well-being, while helping you to reach your highest potential. Many successful people love the work they do, using intrinsic motivation to overcome big obstacles and reach very challenging career goals. Unfortunately, there are many more people who choose work that is ordinary, mundane and dull. These days of monotony turn into months, which eventually turn into years of boring and never-ending work. It’s difficult if not impossible to feel that your career is a success when you are not engaged and interested in it. However, it’s surprising that people never ever search for passion in their work over their entire lifetime. Will you?